6 members states
PivotBuoy focuses on the dimensioning, testing and demonstration in a real environment of an innovative floating structure for offshore wind energy production, which aims to reduce the level energy cost, up to 50%. The project involves developing and producing a system, on a 1: 3 scale and demonstrating it in the Atlantic Ocean, at the offshore testing center of Plocan - Canarias.
Both PivotBuoy and Wind Float aim to develop technology that enables offshore wind production in deep waters, based on floating solutions. They are different technologies, but they have some points in common. While WindFloat bets on semi-submersible technology, PivotBuoy bets on Tension-Leg Platforms (TLP) technology. But both aim to simplify the logistic chain associated with the transport and installation of devices at sea, using smaller and less expensive vessels and betting on maximizing the number of operations on land.
PivotBuoy is at an early stage of its development, but it has a high potential for cost reduction - because it bets on a lighter technology.
The choice of the Canarian Oceanic Platform to test this technology is essentially due to the characteristics of the oceanic soil of the region where this platform is found to be suitable for the type of anchorage that will be used in this demonstration project (gravity anchoring). This platform is also equipped with infrastructure that allows the energy transport cable to be directly connected here, which is another factor that contributed to this choice.
The installation is scheduled for between the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021.
- Led by X1 Wind
- NEWR&D/ Labelec leads work of LCOE Assessment, socio-economic impact & exploitation plan
- Validation and testing of a part-scale prototype in a relevant environment (PLOCAN test site), validating the benefits of single-point mooring (SPM) systems;
- Assessment of cost reductions resulting from the PivotBuoy technology;
- Minimization of environmental impact with a smaller mooring footprint, lower noise compared to catenary systems and reduction of life-cycle emissions;
- Study of scalability, replicability and application to other substructures.
Main innovations of this project
PivotBuoy combines the advantages of single point anchoring systems (which enable the use of small ships in their pre-installation and connection to the anchored structure) and Tension-Leg Platforms systems (which present a lower weight, shorter length moorings and enhance platform stability).
This will lead to a significant reduction in the weight of floating wind structures when compared to the types of structures currently used, also simplifying the installation of TLP systems.
More competitiveness for offshore wind
PivotBuoy's technology may come to make an important contribution to the decarbonisation of Europe and the World, especially as it will bring greater competitiveness to solutions for floating offshore wind.
PivotBuoy uses a type of anchoring and mooring with a smaller ecological footprint and that promotes less noise pollution in your installation. The volume of steel required for the construction of the structure is also lower compared to other structures used in projects with similar generation capacity. Thus, it is possible to reduce emissions not only in the production but also in the transport of the structure, which becomes feasible with smaller vessels and, consequently, less polluting.
This project, being Development Research, is 100% financed by the European Union.